Opinion: Give women in sports the recognition they deserve

Women are being highlighted for women’s history month. These are women who have impacted history by overcoming sexism to achieve their goals.

Yet, there is one group of women who aren’t getting the recognition they deserve during this month—women who were trailblazers in athletics.

To figure out why these women aren’t recognized, look no further than the media coverage they receive. We cannot expect to highlight women in sports when a majority of those who cover and follow sports do not highlight their achievements.

At the first college I attended, I had an experience that led me to continue covering sports. I was assigned to cover the women’s soccer team, but was warned they were not to going win many games. I was also warned attendance at the games was poor.

No one would have given me the same warnings had I been covering a men’s team. The coaches and players turned out to be the best team to cover, as they always looked forward to being interviewed and were grateful for those who showed up to the game.

The best way to highlight these women is through social media, but these posts bring out the trolls who cannot accept that women’s sports deserve to be as equally respected as men’s sports.

It’s time to start mentioning names like Pat Summit, Lynnette Woodard, Kay Yow and Billie Moore alongside Rosa Parks and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Like other female trailblazers, women in sports overcame rampant sexism to achieve greatness and inspire future generations of athletes and coaches.  People can name Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski when asked who holds the record for most victories in men’s division 1 basketball. Ask them to name who it is for women’s basketball, and they draw a blank The late hall of famer Pat Summit coached the Lady Vols at the University of Tennessee for 38 seasons and amassed 1098 victories compared to Krzyzewski’s 1,055 victories. Wins weren’t the only thing that mattered to Summit either. She graduated 100 percent of four-year players in her program.

People cannot ignore the achievements of women in sports solely because they have no interest in them.

It’s time to recognize the achievements of all women, not just those who were pioneers certain fields.

rszb4f@mail.umkc.edu

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